Colorado: No doubt, still a drought

Annual State of the River meetings will update residents on water planning

Receding waters of Dillon Reservoir leave big swaths of shoreline exposed.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — While spring snowfall has brought some relief to small parts of Colorado, the majority of the state is still gripped by one of the worst droughts on record. The southeastern plains and the southwest mountains in particular have experienced a string of dry years, leaving soil moisture well below normal.

Statewide reservoir storage is also near historic low levels, and even with decent spring runoff in a few river basins, water managers will be scrambling to try and refill key s like Dillon and Green Mountain reservoirs.

Summit County residents will be able to learn more about how water providers and resource managers plan to juggle water supplies at the annual State of the River meeting in Frisco (May 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Summit County Community and Senior Center). The meeting is sponsored by the Colorado River District and the Blue River Watershed Group.

More meetings are planned around the Western Slope during May:

  • Tues., May 7, Summit County State of the River Meeting, Summit County Community and Senior Center, Frisco, CO, 6:30pm
  • Mon., May 13, Mesa County State of the River Meeting – Colorado Mesa University Ballroom, Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction, CO,  5:30pm
  • Wed., May 22 – Grand County State of the River Meeting – Inn at Silver Creek, Granby, CO, 6:30
  • Thur., May 23, Roaring Fork River Valley State of the River Meeting – Third Street Center, 520 Third Street, Carbondale, CO, 6:30
  • Wed., May 29 – Eagle River Valley State of the River Meeting:  at Colorado Mountain College, Edwards, CO, 5:30 for light refreshments, 6:00 program begins.

More details here.

State Climatologist Nolan Doesken will give an overview of the status of the drought, its causes and the outlook. Eric Kuhn, general manager of the Colorado River District, will discuss the Western Colorado perspective of the new Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study that predicts water shortages in the millions of acre-feet in the coming decades.

Blue River Basin water commissioner Troy Wineland will outline how local water supplies will be managed in Summit County, while Bob Steger of Denver Water and Ron Thomasson of the Bureau of Reclamation will discuss the operations of Dillon and Green Mountain reservoirs, respectively.

Summit County officials will give an update on the status of the enlarged Old Dillon Reservoir and the Blue River Watershed Group will address its ambitious watershed work at the old Pennsylvania Mine on Peru Creek, the Swan River and Ten Mile Creek.

For more information, please contact: Jim Pokrandt, Colorado River District:, 970-945-8522 x 236.


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